As of today, saloon Cease & Desist (2331 Mission St.) will begin operating under new ownership, Hoodline has learned. David Zimmerman, co-owner of Cabin on Polk St. and the Inner Sunset's Blackthorn Tavern, will lead the ownership group with director of operations Henry Vazquez and senior bartender Evan Pope.
The Tonic Nightlife Group (Bullitt, Soda Popinski's, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem), opened Cease & Desist in 2015 as "Buffalo Club," but changed the name that year after receiving a cease-and-desist letter.
Hoodline spoke to Cease & Desist co-owner Mark DeVito of Tonic Nighttime Group, who said he and partners Ben Bleiman and Duncan Ley sold the bar to focus on their families, as well as their other businesses.
They had been entertaining the idea of selling the bar, so when Zimmerman expressed interest, they thought it would be "in good hands."
"I think they'll bring really good life to the block, and I think we will work really well and do some collaborative stuff in the area," said DeVito.
Zimmerman and his crew are set to move into the space today under a temporary license issued last week, officially reopening for business tomorrow.
The new owners will retain the name and menu of artisanal pizzas, along with the same selection of beer, wine, and spirits, but DeVito said they probably tweak things along the way. Most of Cease & Desist's staff will be kept on after the transition.
DeVito said he wants to focus on his newest venture, Standard Deviant Brewing, which he opened last June with partners Paul Duatschek and Dave Azzam.
"For me to be effective, I need to be [at Standard Deviant] all the time. I loved Cease & Desist, I thought it was a great concept and great space, it just came down to where I am going to put my time, and I'm going to put it in the brewery."
Since opening last year with four beers on tap, Standard Deviant now brews 13 beers and distributes to 50 bars in the Bay Area. "It's a big operation for three guys," said DeVito.
"I can't stress enough how excited I am for these guys to be our new neighbors," DeVito said, adding that he's looking forward to working less.
"The reality of it is that we're all trying to stay in positions where not getting home at 3:30 in the morning every night," he said. "At a certain point in the bar business, you want to relax."
In a press release this weekend, Zimmerman said he and his partners "are excited to expand upon the vibrancy and flavor that the Tonic Nighttime Group has added to this amazing, historic section of the city."
Cease & Desist is open Monday to Friday from 4pm to 2am (kitchen open until 1am Monday–Saturday).
Never miss a story.
Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.